In addition to the proximity to major U.S. business hubs, Canada presents a stable economy, large corporations and their innovation and R&D centres, great talent, a strong tech ecosystem, ease of doing business, favourable business immigration, and startup visa program. To further facilitate entry of Indian startups in Canada, Startup Réseau has tied up with the Government of Alberta, Government of British Columbia, Government of Ontario and economic development agencies including Toronto Global, Montreal International to help a cohort of Indian entrepreneurs grow, scale, and promote their businesses in Canada, and access the larger North American geography.
Stewart Beck, President, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, says, “Canada is a recognised global leader in machine learning and digital innovation. Canadian immigration policies and startup environment have attracted highly qualified technology talent and savvy investors from around the World making Canada an excellent choice for Indian entrepreneurs to establish their beachhead for growth in North American and European markets.”
“In the province of Alberta, Canada, you will find world-class research universities, significant pools of capital, an affordable quality of life, a highly educated workforce and top ranked ML and AI research. With more than $1 billion in tax incentives for R&D and commercialization and a highly accessible Startup Visa program, the province is welcoming eager minds and innovative companies. Come be a part of Alberta’s tech startup revolution and take advantage of programs like Startup Bridge Canada that are creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to expand in North America, adds David Knight Legg, CEO, Invest Alberta Corporation.
Rooma Bussi, Managing Director, Trade & Invest British Columbia says “We are delighted to partner with StartUp Reseau on this initiative. British Columbia has been at the forefront of technology research and innovation in North America and is the #1 start-up ecosystem in Canada and top 15 globally. With almost 11,000 tech companies, ranging from innovative startups to global Fortune 500 companies, technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in British Columbia. Combine this with B.C.’s world class talent and business friendly government policies and you have the perfect environment to make your business a success.”
The inaugural edition of Startup Bridge Canada received 276 applications from which 35 startups make up the cohort. The program will run virtually and has been inaugurated by H.E Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner to Canada. “Both India and Canada have in place robustly expanding startup ecosystems. In fact, Canada’s investment capacity complements India’s entrepreneurial spark to create vast opportunities for startups. In a recent telephonic conversation, the Prime Ministers of the two countries reiterated a desire to work together for building a more sustainable and resilient global economy. Combining Canada’s advanced knowledge and investments with India’s skills and markets makes the perfect recipe for the success of startups. It is not surprising that the first Indian Unicorn of 2021 has a strong Canada connect,” says H.E Ajay Bisaria, HC to Canada.
The 35 founders in the cohort have cumulatively raised in excess of $26Million and run an ARR of over $16.5Million. The average team size of one-thirds of the cohort is 40 team members, while we have 3 startups with team sizes exceeding 100 members. “Having been in the Canada – India corridor for almost 12 years, I can confidently say that this is by-far the strongest group of Indian startups being exposed to the Canadian market and its stakeholders, ” adds Ajay.
The shortlisted startups operate in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, infrastructure, large enterprise accounts and ESG. Over 50% of the cohort applies fast growing technologies like AI / ML.
About Startup Réseau:
Built on the founding pillar of #StartupsFirst, Startup Réseau operates startup accelerator programs with a vision to bring the ultimate global network of Enterprises, Capital, Markets and Services to Startups. The founding team has developed a strong understanding of new models of startup-led enterprise innovation and economic development. Startup Réseau has a core expertise in setting up and operating bootcamps, accelerator programs and entrepreneurship linked initiatives in emerging markets across India, South East Asia and Africa.